BRUNSWICK, Ga. – A homeless day shelter in Brunswick has to close temporarily following several violent incidents in downtown.
The executive director of The Well said he plans to close the doors there at five p.m. Friday. That means the people who use the shelter during the day will have to find someplace else to go starting Saturday.
“We’re encouraging them to try to reestablish relationships with family or friends and go be with them,” Executive Director Wright Culpepper said.
Culpepper said they will voluntarily close their doors for 65 days due to the number of violent incidents downtown. They range from armed robbery to a home invasion to the rape of a minor.
“Those that allegedly committed these crimes are not related to The Well,” Culpepper said. “They are not a part of our Well population.”
Brunswick Mayor Pro Tem, Julie Martin, said the incidents were the last straw, and by closing the shelter for a bit, it will help with the safety of downtown.
The city passed a new homeless shelter ordinance this week. It restricts where shelters can be located, and they must go through a conditional use permit to open. Meaning, after the 65 day temporary closure, The Well must reapply in order to reopen.
Culpepper said he’s not focused on what will happen weeks from now, he’s focused on making sure the people he helps survive. “Telling them to stay together and watch each other’s backs,” Culpepper said.
The Salvation Army shelter told News4JAX they’re prepared to step in and fill the gap by providing food to people who would normally eat at The Well.